Friday, October 30, 2009


NEIGHBOR: And what are you supposed to be, little boy? You don’t look like you’re dressed up at all.

GRAMMY: He’s the son of an atheist liberal.

NEIGHBOR: Oh, sorry. Here you go.

JULIUS: Thank you,

ME: What did he get, Grammy?

GRAMMY: A bite-sized Hershey’s bar.

ME: And what’s the address.

GRAMMY: 27 Candykiller lane.

ME: Grammy, this isn’t funny.

GRAMMY: No. It’s not. The boy spends two hours in the freezing cold with no costume, and all he gets are bite-sized bits of fake chocolate. Talk about having a lousy day. Lord, I remember when chocolate was real and came in bars as long as your hand.

JULIUS (looking in bag) It’s not real?

GRAMMY: Well, it’s real. It exists. But it’s not really real. Not the chocolate. Know what I mean?


GRAMMY: No. I guess not. Kinda like trying to explain color to a blind man. Oh well. At least there’s an up side. If someone is trying to poison you, there won’t be enough here to kill you.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


JULIUS: Who’s that, Grammy?


JULIUS: Who’s God?

GRAMMY: Who’s God? Barbara, what the hell are you teaching this boy? He just asked who God was.

ME: God is make-believe, Julius. Like the Tooth Fairy and Santa.

GRAMMY: What? Julius, go in the kitchen and play with your toilet paper.

JULIUS: Okay, Grammy.

ME: Sorry, Grammy. I thought we’d have that conversation when he was a bit older.

GRAMMY: Conversation? Assassination is more like it! You just killed God, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa!

ME: Don’t be silly, Grammy. You can’t kill something that doesn’t exist. And he’s known about the Tooth Fairy and Santa since he was three.

GRAMMY: What the hell kind of mother are you? No wonder the boy has no concept of fun.

ME: God is hardly fun, Grammy.

GRAMMY: That’s for sure. And you just pissed Him off. I’d be afraid to sleep tonight if I was you.

ME: Really, Grammy. If God existed and wanted to punish me, He wouldn’t have to wait until I was asle . . . .


JULIUS: Mommy! Mommy! A garbage truck just ran over your new car.

GRAMMY: You were saying?

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Monday, October 26, 2009


ME: Isn’t this a beautiful day for a drive, Grammy?

GRAMMY: Oh, yeah. Main streets and back roads of beautiful Cow Hampshire. Hit another frost heave and my teeth are gonna fall out. And just because you bought a brand new convertible doesn’t mean we have to ride with the top down. It’s friggin' October, you know.

ME: I just want to be sure everything works.

GRAMMY: Show off is more like it.

JULIUS: Mrs. Joy says we shouldn’t show off.

GRAMMY: Yeah, and Mrs. Joy also thinks coral is spelled with two R’s. You don’t want to put too much faith in anything that dim bulb says.

ME: Oh Grammy, it was just a spelling error.

GRAMMY: Teachers don’t get to make spelling errors. Now can we go home? You got to play with your brand new car. I want to play with my internet thingy.

JULIUS: What do I get to play with? I didn’t get anything new.

ME: Well, what would you like?

JULIUS: Toilet paper.

GRAMMY: Lord. Just when you think the boy is coming along.

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Friday, October 23, 2009


ME: Grammy? What happened to all your furniture?

GRAMMY: I paid some kids on the corner to move it all into the cellar. I bought me one of those internet thingies.

ME: Okay. But why would you move all your furniture?

GRAMMY: It’s gotta fit somewhere, doesn’t it?

ME: Yes. I suppose. But it would have fit nicely of the desk you had in front of the windows.

GRAMMY: Are you kidding me? I didn’t buy some rinky-dink piece of junk. This is top of the line. Computer, internet, flat screen, printer, scanner, camera, speakers. I’m telling you, Barbara, I got the whole shebang for 500 bucks. I’m betting it was a typo. Shoulda probably cost five grand.

ME: No, Grammy. $500 sounds about right. But I don’t think you know what you’ll be getting. Look. Here’s a picture of Julius by his computer.

GRAMMY: That’s it? That little box? That little screen?

ME: Uh, huh.

GRAMMY: Dammit. (Goes to window) Hey, you two! Get your asses back up here. I have another job for you.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009


GRAMMY: I’m going to the restroom.

ME: But you’ll miss Julius’ dive.

GRAMMY: He’s been standing there for twenty minutes, Barbara. He’ll be there when I get back.

ME: He’s scared, Grammy. It’s his first dive.

GRAMMY: He’s scared because you filled his head with drowning stories. He needs encouragement, not doom and gloom.

ME: I encourage Julius all the time.

GRAMMY: Yeah, to be the world’s biggest wuss. What are the other kids gonna think if he doesn’t jump?

ME: It doesn’t matter what they think, Grammy.

GRAMMY: Yeah. You keep telling yourself that. I’ll be back.

ME: I'd like her so much more if she was a senile invalid. (sigh) Come on, Julius. You can do it. Jump. Jum . . . . What the . . . ? Grammy! Get off that board!

JULIUS: Grammy?

GRAMMY: Hi, boy. Remember that day you said you’d like to push me off the pier?

JULIUS: (going home) Did you see me, Mom? I jumped right off. And higher than anybody!

ME: You sure did, Julius!

GRAMMY: I told you. All he needed was a little encouragement.

Photo: Magnus Muhr

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Monday, October 19, 2009


GRAMMY: There you go. Now have some fun.

JULIUS: (stares)

GRAMMY: They’re leaves, boy. You jump in them. You roll around. You have fun.

JULIUS: But they’ll get messy, Grammy.

GRAMMY: That’s the point, boy.

JULIUS: (stares)

GRAMMY: Oh, Lord. Look. Give them a fluff.

JULIUS: But Mommy said . . . .

GRAMMY: Grab a handful. Throw them in the air.

JULIUS: But Mommy said . . . .

GRAMMY: Oh, dammit, boy! I don’t care what Mommy said. Give them a good kick. Like this. And this. And . . . Aaaah!

JULIUS: Are you okay, Grammy?

GRAMMY: No, I’m not okay. I’m too old to be playing in the damn leaves. You should have been doing all this nonsense. Not me. Now help me up.

ME: Grammy? What are you doing down there?

GRAMMY: I was trying to show the boy how to have fun.

ME: In wet leaves? Don’t you know that’s dangerous? You could slip and fall.

JULIUS: I tried to tell her, Mommy. She wouldn’t listen.

ME: (sigh) She never does. Come on. Let’s go inside and have some cocoa.

GRAMMY: Uhm, excuse me? I’m still laying here!

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Friday, October 16, 2009


ME: What are you doing, Grammy?

GRAMMY: What does it look like I’m doing? I’m trying to kill that damned fly. It’s been buzzing around here all day.

ME: Well, get off the table and wait until it lands. If you fall off, you’ll kill yourself.

GRAMMY: Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? I die, you inherit everything, and give it to that low-life ex of yours as a bribe to take you back.

ME: Grammy!

GRAMMY: Here. Take the swatter. It’s on my foot. Give it a whack.

ME: (Whack!)

GRAMMY: Ow! Dammit! I said my foot, not my hand! Ow! Hey! Stop that!

ME: Take it back, Grammy. Take it back!

GRAMMY: All right, all ready. I take it back.

ME: Good. Now get down from there before you get hurt.

Photo: Fabrice Parais

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


ME: Grammy? What were the police doing here?

GRAMMY: Oh, it’s that damned artist fella next door. Come here. See that guy in the manhole. It’s not a guy. It’s not even a manhole. It’s a statue.

ME: You didn’t call the police about that, did you?

GRAMMY: Damn right I did! I thought it was real. I thought it was some pervert trying to look up women’s skirts. But no. It’s that idiot next door trying to be ‘creative.’ Made me look like a fool.

ME: Well, it does look pretty real. Although, I wouldn’t have thought pervert. I would have thought he was trying to escape from one of those urban alligators you always hear about in the sewers.

GRAMMY: Oh yeah. He looks really scared. Look at his hands, dimbulb! He’s as calm as can be.

ME: He is wearing a helmet. Maybe’s he’s an underground soldier. Get it, Grammy? ‘Underground.’

GRAMMY: Stupid, Barbara. As stupid as calling that thing art. I’ll take a good, old-fashioned painting any day.

ME: (looking around room) Yes, I know. What could be more artistic than Dogs Playing Poker, and Elvis on velvet?

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Monday, October 12, 2009


GRAMMY: Where the hell are all my damned popsicles? I just bought a twenty-four pack and they’re all gone.

JULIUS: Sorry, Grammy. I took them.

GRAMMY: You ate twenty-four popsicles in three hours?

JULIUS: I didn’t eat them, Grammy.

GRAMMY: You just said you did. You just said . . . . No. You said you took them. Your mother probably doesn’t even let you eat popsicles, I’ll bet. So what the hell did you do with twenty-four of them, boy?

JULIUS: I made this. For you. It’s a coaster. You can put your whisky glass on it. Or the glass with your teeth in it.

GRAMMY: You made it for me, huh?

JULIUS: Uh, huh.

GRAMMY: Barbara! Get your ass in here and look at what my great-grandson made me!

ME: In a minute, Grammy. I seem to have a puddle of . . . popsicles . . . in my purse.

Photo: Jim Sneddon

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Friday, October 9, 2009


ME: How would you like to have a great-granddaughter, Grammy?

GRAMMY: Will she be more of a man than my great-grandson?

ME: Grammy!

GRAMMY: Hey, I’m just asking. Now why are you asking? Don’t tell me that ex of yours got you pregnant again?

ME: No, Grammy. I was thinking about artificial insemination. You know, with a sperm donor. From a sperm bank.

GRAMMY: Sorry, Barbara. I don’t know. I always got my sperm direct deposit.

ME: Oh, Grammy. I’m serious.

GRAMMY: So am I. Now why do you suddenly want a little girl?

ME: Well, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to dress up and pamper and treat like a little princess?

GRAMMY: Oh, Lord. Now there’s a good reason to have a baby. But on the other hand, it would sure take the pressure off of Julius.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009


ME: Did I tell you, Grammy? Julius has a girlfriend.

GRAMMY: A girlfriend? He’s six years old.

ME: Well, it’s not as though they’re dating, Grammy. It’s just one of those puppy love things.

GRAMMY: So who is she? Some six year old girl as mamby pamby as him? Lord, I can see it now. Mamby pamby’s in love, having mamby pamby children. Gives me the creeps.

ME: No, Grammy. Remember the duck that got eaten in the play? That’s her. They’re in the same class at school. He brought her flowers - dandelions he picked in the school yard.

GRAMMY: Oh, now there’s trouble. Better hope she’s not allergic, or you’ll have a law suit on your hands. And tell him never to touch her. Even if they’re playing tag. They’ll accuse him of sexual harassment.

ME: Grammy, it’s first grade. He doesn’t even know what sex is.

GRAMMY: Oh, get your head out of the gutter, Barbara. This isn’t about sex. This is Julius we’re talking about.

ME: What’s that supposed to mean?

GRAMMY: Murphy’s Law, Barbara. If anything can go wrong, it will. The boy’s doomed.

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Monday, October 5, 2009


ME: Where were you, Grammy? I’ve been worried sick.

GRAMMY: I went to see a friend at the home.

ME: The home?

GRAMMY: Yeah. You know. That place you occasionally suggest I might like.

ME: That’s not true, Grammy. I’d never put you in a home.

GRAMMY: Damn right. You’d never see a penny of my money if you did.

ME: So, how is your friend?

GRAMMY: Nuttier than peanut brittle. Thinks she’s the Queen of England. Thought I was Princess Margaret.

ME: Princess Margaret?

GRAMMY: The Queen of England’s sister. How dense are you? Anyway, I played along. Got the whole damned place in on the act.

ME: You encouraged her delusion?

GRAMMY: She was happy, Barbara. For fifteen minutes of her lousy life she was happy.

ME: Fifteen minutes? That was a short visit.

GRAMMY: Yeah, well, the idiots who run the place threw me out.

ME: Why? What did you do?

GRAMMY: Oh, one of the aides refused to curtsy, so we tied her up and ordered a beheading.

ME: Grammy, you didn’t!

GRAMMY: Of course I didn’t. She apologized and we granted her a pardon. (sigh) Someone always has to ruin the fun.

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Friday, October 2, 2009


GRAMMY: Well, this is a crappy place to have a picnic. Why can’t we sit over there under the tree?

ME: Because you can’t sit on the grass over there. There’s a sign.

GRAMMY: Oooh. There’s a sign. I don’t see any damn grass police. And even if there where, what are they gonna do? Tazer an old lady?

ME: Sorry, Grammy. I’m not breaking the law?

GRAMMY: The law? It’s grass, Barbara. What the hell’s gonna happen if someone sits on it? They’re gonna cut it in a week anyway.

ME: Grammy, where are you going?

GRAMMY: I’m a taxpayer, dammit, and this is a public park. That grass belongs to me.

ME: Grammy, come back here. Grammy! (sigh) She’s worse than a two-year old.

JULIUS: She’s coming back, Mommy.

ME: Well, that was a quick sit.

GRAMMY: Changed my mind. Now let’s go home. I’m getting tired.

ME: But we just got . . . what is that smell? Grammy, you didn’t . . . .

GRAMMY: Where the hell is the ‘No Dogs Allowed’ sign? That’s what I want to know.

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